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Thread: How to Transplant Maple Tree?

  1. #1

    How to Transplant Maple Tree?

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    So far, I've had success with transplanting a few smallish bushes. Now I'd like to transplant a young maple (red or sugar) from our woods into our yard. Anything I should know? What time of year is best? How big of a tree would be realistic in terms of survivability? How big of a root ball will I need for a given size of tree? Should I fertilize? And with what? Help. (Oh yeah...I'm in SW Pennsylvania.)


  2. #2
    I'm sorry. Can a moderator please move this to the Community forum? Sorry.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 1998
    The 7 Seas

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Mississauga, Ontario
    Winter or early spring, no limit on size, but the size of the root ball is commensurate with the the size of the tree. The bigger the tree, the more the roots spread, the bigger the root ball to move it. Drop an imaginary line from the tips of the branches and that is where your roots extend to. You can trim off some of the fine ones. The tap root is the critical one and that depends on the soil below the tree. No fertiliser required, just some decent soil below and around the tree to allow the roots to sort themselves out in time. Don't allow the fine roots to dry out when you are moving the tree and water for 3 months.

    ... and you look after your Canadian tree well

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Gaston, SC
    Andrew is right about that. Fertilizers are out for right now, for example I wouldn't even go with 10-10-10 until it settles next year. But good soil is a must and if you can get ahold of Miracle Grow planting soil or Scotts planting soil I'd do that, it's more expensive but man does it ever beat just plain potting soil and top soil. I'm looking for a Sawtooth Oak for my own yard right now. Good luck!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 1999
    Sandy Hook,KY, USA
    Wait until the tree is in it's dormant (spelling) stage, this is in the fall after every leave has fallen off of it or in the spring before it buds. Dig your hole at least 1 1/2 to 2 times as big as your root ball. As stated above use good soil. Miracle Grow in the blue bag is good. Make sure to get all the air pockets out as you put the dirt around the root ball, don't forget to water. Done several the last couple of years and have only lost one and it was a nursery tree.

  7. #7
    an additional note. If moving a Maple from a wooded setting to a yard setting you will need to paint the tree trunk white with a latex white paint. Immature Maples have very smooth thin bark. and when the tree is exposed to winter sunlight it will cause the trunk to split. ( water inside the tree expands causing cambial damage ) the paint will cause the light to reflect.

    Maples are best moved in fall or early spring. Try to move as big of a root ball as possible. Remember that a medium size maple tree can use up to 300 gallons of water a day so a small tree will need probably five to ten gallons a day when in leaf. I would suggest investing in a tree gator. These are a slow dirip irrigation bag and very helpful when new trees are transplanted. Maples are woodland plants so they prefer cool moist soil. plan for this when moving to a yard setting where the soil is usually compacted, Hot and you compete with grass for water. Mulch heavily around the root ball to keep the soil cool.


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